This is my first Iowa game since big Shonn Greene dominated the Wisconsin Badgers back in 2008, so needless to say, I am absolutely ecstatic. Iowa City is one of the great college football atmospheres in the entire country, and when Michigan is in town?
Forget about it!
Kinnick will be rocking for this game, and for good reason. This is a big game for both teams, obviously a lot at stake. Iowa has lost games to Iowa State and Minnesota this season, two games on the road lost by three points or less. They also lost on the road to Penn State, but they are 5-0 at home this year and nearly unstoppable on the offensive side of the ball.
The Hawkeyes are averaging 39.2 points per game at home this season, and they have been lights out in their last three games, scoring 45, 41, and 45 points over that time period.
Michigan has been stellar this season offensively, and they just recently lost their first game of the season to rival Michigan State on the road.
This is a game sure to feature some offensive fireworks, and you can check out my in-depth preview from this past pre-season on the Iowa Hawkeyes who are draft eligible for this team, as well as individual scouting reports on star wide receiver Marvin McNutt and left tackle Riley Reiff.
This should be an exciting game with a lot of offense, as both defenses are pretty horrendous this season. Michigan gave up 24 and 28 points to the only two decent teams they have played this season, and Iowa is allowing more than 23 points per game this season.
The key in this game is going to be which offense makes more mistakes, and if Iowa is able to limit Denard Robinson in the running game (a stretch) then I think he will make more mistakes in the passing game than James Vandenberg. I see Iowa winning yet another close matchup between these two teams, a rivalry that has been one of the more exciting regular season games in the last couple of seasons.
Iowa is too good at home offensively and I think the defensive backs will be able to make the plays necessary in the passing game to get it done. I like Iowa on their home field to beat Michigan 41-38, if and only if they have put the end of that Minnesota game behind them. As a player and as a coach, it’s tough to get that bad taste out of your mouth, but I think Kirk Ferentz’s guys will be well-prepared and the home crowd will be rowdy with ESPN on campus.
Who will guard Marvin McNutt for Michigan?
Here are the four keys to victory for Michigan according to Michael Rothstein of Wolverine Nation.
Here is a Michigan view on why Iowa is such a tough home team.